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Smoothies and Small Talk: An Interview with Chet Porter

“The skies, the sea, the forest, the wind…”

Taken from his original track “Awakening,” these eight words can also be generalized examples of what Chet Porter draws inspiration from. However, to fathom an artist's process takes far more than eight words pulled — out of context — from one song.

Coming from “The 6” (Toronto) to play at Moonrise Festival on Saturday, August 12, Chet's performance was a change of pace from the other artists: RL Grime, Louis The Child and Will Clarke, who had conflicting set times. As one approached the Lunar Stage at 3:30 pm, a zen-like atmosphere engulfed the mind and uncontrollable happiness suddenly ensued. For those familiar with Chet Porter prior to his set, too, this euphoria should have arrived with little surprise.

“I have strange influences, like plants and smoothies and stuff,” Chet Porter said in our interview following his performance.

“Like sometimes I drink a smoothie and I'm like ‘nice I wanna write a song that's kind of like this smoothie.' (The smoothie) tastes a certain way and I kind of wanna write a song that sounds like how this smoothie tastes.”

Photo by Josh Bernstein (@bosh.jerns)

And as ridiculous as that may read, that makes a surprising amount of sense to a fan. Chet Porter produces the most luscious and simply surreal soundscapes. Bring that beauty to a festival with aesthetically pleasing visuals and “plants and smoothies and stuff” made more sense during his set than one would originally expect because his music evokes an oddly specific feeling that's not necessarily easily explained.

Chet Porter's afternoon performance had exquisite cohesiveness between original music, remixes and other live mashups or edits. The genre-hopping set featured everything from Louis The Child and other electronic friends to Death Cab for Cutie, Blink-182 and Kanye West, specifically managing to mashup “I Love Kanye” with “Sad Machine” by Porter Robinson.

Oh, and he didn't forget his fellow Torontonian, Drake, who by the way Chet requested to relay a message to:

“Drake, ‘if you're reading this it's too late.' But actually, if you're (reading) this please collaborate… with me.”

Returning to his genre-hopping set, though, this should also come with little surprise.

“I listen to all genres so I take influences from everywhere. Obviously, I always listen to electronic,” Chet Porter said.” But I'm very into indie pop and I don't know… some of my favorites are Passion Pit, one of my favorite bands is Alt-J, like I listen to Kendrick Lamar ‘DAMN.' all the time and I don't know…

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“Not to say that I take major influences from all of them, but sometimes I'll be listening to a Kendrick Lamar song and it'll have a certain rhythm,” Chet continued. “Maybe I'll write a song like that or in that tempo… it comes from all over.”

When inspiration strikes, it happens without warning — whether that's through a smoothie or a song. Chet Porter's “Broccoli” remix, for example, just kind of happened, and the rest of the pieces fell into place.

“I really liked that song. It was a really happy rap song and I was like ‘damn,'” Chet said. “It felt different for me at the time so I really wanted to remix it.” The rest was history.

The “Broccoli” remix was a fan-favorite during his Moonrise set, among other remixes both new and old. Speaking of which, Chet promised new music within “the next 10 years” (lol) so be sure to turn Twitter notifications on because that new new can arrive any day.

(One of those days may even be tomorrow…)

Until then, however, Chet Porter will be on tour this fall, headlining his own dates as well as supporting ODESZA on the west coast. Tickets are on sale now.

Cover Photo by Josh Bernstein

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